Welcome!

Wireless Authors: Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan, Liz Dickinson, Peter Silva, Carmen Gonzalez

News Feed Item

GSMA Report Reveals Mobile Drives Unprecedented Growth In Arab World

-- New Mobile Observatory Calls for Additional Spectrum and Transparent Regulation to Further Boost Investment and Job Creation

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates, Feb. 12, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Today the GSMA published its first in-depth assessment of the impact of the mobile industry on the Arab States(1), highlighting the explosive growth of mobile services in the region. Based on research from Deloitte, the GSMA Arab States Mobile Observatory(2) details strong regional market competition and falling handset prices, fuelling a 32 per cent average annual growth in mobile connections over the past 10 years, soaring from 19 million connections in 2002 to 391 million in 2012.

While highlighting the extraordinary development of the region over the past decade, the report identifies fundamental challenges that put the continued growth of the sector at risk, including limited spectrum availability, high taxation and stifling regulation.

"Mobile communications in the Arab States have transformed society and fostered substantial growth in investment, innovation and productivity," commented Tom Phillips, Chief Government and Regulatory Affairs Officer, GSMA. "However, there are far greater opportunities that the mobile industry can deliver for the region. Governments need to take action now to increase spectrum availability and stabilise the regulatory environment if they want to continue the momentum and realise mobile's full potential."

Economic Impact of Mobile
The rapid pace of mobile adoption has delivered substantial economic benefits for the region, directly contributing US$ 132 billion to the economies of the Arab States, or approximately 5.5 per cent of total GDP, in 2011(3).

In addition to the economic value, the mobile industry has contributed to employment in the region. The full-time employment created across the Arab States as a result of the availability of mobile technologies is estimated to have been more than 1.2 million jobs in 2011.  This figure represents a combination of direct employment by mobile operators, jobs across the mobile ecosystem and the multiplier effect caused by the positive business impact of the mobile ecosystem on wider industries, further boosting job creation. If additional harmonised spectrum were allocated to mobile broadband, 5.9 million additional jobs could be created by 2025, according to the study.

Additional Spectrum Urgently Required
Mobile broadband connections across the Arab States are expected to increase by a staggering 255 per cent by 2017, rising from 40 million in 2011 to 142 million, reflecting the enormous appetite for mobile broadband services. Mobile broadband connections have already outstripped fixed-line connections by over 350 per cent.

However, to extend mobile penetration and capacity, as well as reap the associated economic benefits, governments in the region urgently need to deliver adequate spectrum in line with internationally and regionally harmonised spectrum bands, including the Digital Dividend, 2.6GHz and 1.8GHz bands.

The release of additional spectrum could raise the region's combined GDP by US$ 108 billion(4) between 2015 and 2025. Harmonisation of spectrum bands would further lead to economies of scale for device manufacturers, which in turn would give more consumers access to affordable mobile technology.

Santino Saguto, Partner Consulting, TMT Leader for Deloitte Middle East, commented: "Mobile penetration has increased greatly over the past few years and now reaches well above 100 per cent in many countries of the Arab States. However, in order to meet the expected demand for new generation services, governments need to continue to support the development of mobile broadband, notably through the provision of appropriate spectrum. The current spectrum allocations are not able to sustain the potential growth in data traffic and, unless increased, seem likely to raise costs of provision, challenge investment decisions and increase network congestion."

Need for Greater Regulatory Certainty
The study also points out the urgent need for governments to revise mobile taxation and regulatory regimes across the region. Information and communication technology (ICT) policies that support light-touch regulatory frameworks will increase investment from mobile operators in next-generation data services across the region.

High consumer taxes on mobile products and services are holding back the growth of the sector, decreasing affordability and, in turn, usage levels, denying the poorest members of the population access to mobile services. A number of countries in the region, including Egypt, Jordan and Morocco, have extremely high taxes on mobile services as a result of mobile-specific or 'luxury' tax rates.

If spectrum needs are met and regulatory certainty delivered, there is a major opportunity for governments to generate significant additional revenue from the mobile ecosystem, with the potential to raise US$ 528.7 million in the Arab Middle East and US$ 383.7 million in North Africa by 2025.

Phillips continued: "The Arab States' mobile industry is clearly making a major contribution to their societies and economies. However, the potential for it to make an even greater contribution to the region's success and growth is clear with the provision of mobile data and mobile broadband services. By tackling the core issues of spectrum availability, taxation and network investment and creating a more transparent and business-friendly regulatory environment, this opportunity can be realised."

To access the report please visit: www.gsma.com/MO

Notes to Editors
(1) The 'Arab States' are defined in this report as the following countries: Bahrain, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, United Arab Emirates, Yemen (Arab Middle East); and Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, Tunisia, Sudan and South Sudan (North Africa).

(2) This report, prepared by Deloitte for the GSMA, is the first GSMA Mobile Observatory to focus on the Arab States. It provides a thorough analysis of the mobile communications industry across the Arab Middle East and North Africa. The report provides the latest statistics and mobile market developments, and is an important reference point for mobile industry members, policy makers and other interested stakeholders. It covers the state of the industry, including the evolution of competition, innovation in new products, services and technologies and the industry's contribution to social and economic development across the region.

(3) The total economic impact of the mobile communication industry in 2011 was US$ 98.1 billion for the Arab Middle East and US$ 34.1 billion for North Africa, amounting to GDP of 6.2 per cent and 4.9 per cent respectively. 

(4) US$ 57.5 billion in the Arab Middle East and US$ 50.5 in North Africa.

About the GSMA
The GSMA represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide. Spanning more than 220 countries, the GSMA unites nearly 800 of the world's mobile operators with more than 230 companies in the broader mobile ecosystem, including handset makers, software companies, equipment providers and Internet companies, as well as organisations in industry sectors such as financial services, healthcare, media, transport and utilities. The GSMA also produces industry-leading events such as the Mobile World Congress and Mobile Asia Expo. 

For more information, please visit the GSMA corporate website at www.gsma.com or Mobile World Live, the online portal for the mobile communications industry, at www.mobileworldlive.com

More Stories By PR Newswire

Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PRNewswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of PRNewswire. PRNewswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

@ThingsExpo Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that SOA Software, an API management leader, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. SOA Software is a leading provider of API Management and SOA Governance products that equip business to deliver APIs and SOA together to drive their company to meet its business strategy quickly and effectively. SOA Software’s technology helps businesses to accelerate their digital channels with APIs, drive partner adoption, monetize their assets, and achieve a...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Aria Systems, the recurring revenue expert, has been named "Bronze Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Aria Systems helps leading businesses connect their customers with the products and services they love. Industry leaders like Pitney Bowes, Experian, AAA NCNU, VMware, HootSuite and many others choose Aria to power their recurring revenue business and deliver exceptional experiences to their customers.
SYS-CON Events announced today that AgilePoint, the leading provider of Microsoft-centric Business Process Management software, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 2nd International @ThingsExpo which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. AgilePoint is the leading provider of Microsoft-based Business Process Management (BPM) software products, has 1,300+ on-premise and cloud deployments in 25+ countries and provides the same advanced BPM feature set as J2EE vendors like IBM and Appian for the Microsoft .NET native environment. AgilePoint customer...
The Internet of Things (IoT) promises to evolve the way the world does business; however, understanding how to apply it to your company can be a mystery. Most people struggle with understanding the potential business uses or tend to get caught up in the technology, resulting in solutions that fail to meet even minimum business goals. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jesse Shiah, CEO / President / Co-Founder of AgilePoint Inc., will show what is needed to leverage the IoT to transform your business. He will discuss opportunities and challenges ahead for the IoT from a market and tec...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Utimaco will exhibit at SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Utimaco is a leading manufacturer of hardware based security solutions that provide the root of trust to keep cryptographic keys safe, secure critical digital infrastructures and protect high value data assets. Only Utimaco delivers a general-purpose hardware security module (HSM) as a customizable platform to easily integrate into existing software solutions, embed business logic and build s...
One of the biggest challenges when developing connected devices is identifying user value and delivering it through successful user experiences. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Mike Kuniavsky, Principal Scientist, Innovation Services at PARC, will describe an IoT-specific approach to user experience design that combines approaches from interaction design, industrial design and service design to create experiences that go beyond simple connected gadgets to create lasting, multi-device experiences grounded in people’s real needs and desires.
Samsung VP Jacopo Lenzi, who headed the company's recent SmartThings acquisition under the auspices of Samsung's Open Innovaction Center (OIC), answered a few questions we had about the deal. This interview was in conjunction with our interview with SmartThings CEO Alex Hawkinson. IoT Journal: SmartThings was developed in an open, standards-agnostic platform, and will now be part of Samsung's Open Innovation Center. Can you elaborate on your commitment to keep the platform open? Jacopo Lenzi: Samsung recognizes that true, accelerated innovation cannot be driven from one source, but requires a...
The Internet of Things will greatly expand the opportunities for data collection and new business models driven off of that data. In her session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Esmeralda Swartz, CMO of MetraTech, will discuss how for this to be effective you not only need to have infrastructure and operational models capable of utilizing this new phenomenon, but increasingly service providers will need to convince a skeptical public to participate. Get ready to show them the money! Speaker Bio: Esmeralda Swartz, CMO of MetraTech, has spent 16 years as a marketing, product management, and busin...
SYS-CON Events announced today that TeleStax, the main sponsor of Mobicents, will exhibit at Internet of @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. TeleStax provides Open Source Communications software and services that facilitate the shift from legacy SS7 based IN networks to IP based LTE and IMS networks hosted on private (on-premise), hybrid or public clouds. TeleStax products include Restcomm, JSLEE, SMSC Gateway, USSD Gateway, SS7 Resource Adaptors, SIP Servlets, Rich Multimedia Services, Presence Services/RCS, Diame...
Things are being built upon cloud foundations to transform organizations. This CEO Power Panel at 15th Cloud Expo, moderated by Roger Strukhoff, Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo conference chair, will address the big issues involving these technologies and, more important, the results they will achieve. How important are public, private, and hybrid cloud to the enterprise? How does one define Big Data? And how is the IoT tying all this together?
We certainly live in interesting technological times. And no more interesting than the current competing IoT standards for connectivity. Various standards bodies, approaches, and ecosystems are vying for mindshare and positioning for a competitive edge. It is clear that when the dust settles, we will have new protocols, evolved protocols, that will change the way we interact with devices and infrastructure. We will also have evolved web protocols, like HTTP/2, that will be changing the very core of our infrastructures. At the same time, we have old approaches made new again like micro-services...
The only place to be June 9-11 is Cloud Expo & @ThingsExpo 2015 East at the Javits Center in New York City. Join us there as delegates from all over the world come to listen to and engage with speakers & sponsors from the leading Cloud Computing, IoT & Big Data companies. Cloud Expo & @ThingsExpo are the leading events covering the booming market of Cloud Computing, IoT & Big Data for the enterprise. Speakers from all over the world will be hand-picked for their ability to explore the economic strategies that utility/cloud computing provides. Whether public, private, or in a hybrid form, clo...
SYS-CON Events announces a new pavilion on the Cloud Expo floor where WebRTC converges with the Internet of Things. Pavilion will showcase WebRTC and the Internet of Things. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago. All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices--computers, smartphones, tablets, and sensors – connected to the Internet by 2020. This number will continue to grow at a rapid pace for the next several decades.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Gridstore™, the leader in software-defined storage (SDS) purpose-built for Windows Servers and Hyper-V, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Gridstore™ is the leader in software-defined storage purpose built for virtualization that is designed to accelerate applications in virtualized environments. Using its patented Server-Side Virtual Controller™ Technology (SVCT) to eliminate the I/O blender effect and accelerate applications Gridsto...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Red Hat, the world's leading provider of open source solutions, will exhibit at Internet of @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Red Hat is the world's leading provider of open source software solutions, using a community-powered approach to reliable and high-performing cloud, Linux, middleware, storage and virtualization technologies. Red Hat also offers award-winning support, training, and consulting services. As the connective hub in a global network of enterprises, partners, a...
As the Internet of Things unfolds, mobile and wearable devices are blurring the line between physical and digital, integrating ever more closely with our interests, our routines, our daily lives. Contextual computing and smart, sensor-equipped spaces bring the potential to walk through a world that recognizes us and responds accordingly. We become continuous transmitters and receivers of data. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Andrew Bolwell, Director of Innovation for HP’s Printing and Personal Systems Group, will discuss how key attributes of mobile technology – touch input, senso...
The Internet of Things (IoT) is making everything it touches smarter – smart devices, smart cars and smart cities. And lucky us, we’re just beginning to reap the benefits as we work toward a networked society. However, this technology-driven innovation is impacting more than just individuals. The IoT has an environmental impact as well, which brings us to the theme of this month’s #IoTuesday Twitter chat. The ability to remove inefficiencies through connected objects is driving change throughout every sector, including waste management. BigBelly Solar, located just outside of Boston, is trans...
Connected devices and the Internet of Things are getting significant momentum in 2014. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Hunter, Chief Scientist & Technology Evangelist at Greenwave Systems, will examine three key elements that together will drive mass adoption of the IoT before the end of 2015. The first element is the recent advent of robust open source protocols (like AllJoyn and WebRTC) that facilitate M2M communication. The second is broad availability of flexible, cost-effective storage designed to handle the massive surge in back-end data in a world where timely analytics...
Internet of @ThingsExpo Silicon Valley announced on Thursday its first 12 all-star speakers and sessions for its upcoming event, which will take place November 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in California. @ThingsExpo, the first and largest IoT event in the world, debuted at the Javits Center in New York City in June 10-12, 2014 with over 6,000 delegates attending the conference. Among the first 12 announced world class speakers, IBM will present two highly popular IoT sessions, which will take place November 4-6, 2014 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, Calif...
From a software development perspective IoT is about programming "things," about connecting them with each other or integrating them with existing applications. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Yakov Fain, co-founder of Farata Systems and SuranceBay, will show you how small IoT-enabled devices from multiple manufacturers can be integrated into the workflow of an enterprise application. This is a practical demo of building a framework and components in HTML/Java/Mobile technologies to serve as a platform that can integrate new devices as they become available on the market.